Phalarope & Owl

Another beautiful summer afternoon to be out volunteering a Reifel. It was a decent crowd for this time of year with a couple of pleasant surprises. First up in the outer ponds,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

… were three Wilson’s Phalaropes. They appeared to be juvenile birds,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

… and this would be on the early side to see them arriving. Of course some of the usual suspects were around.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Like this Great Blue Heron roosting in a conifer. The other surprise came at the end of the day.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

A juvenile Great Horned Owl snoozing away the afternoon. This was one of two, likely from the local pair that nested in the Alaksen National Wildlife area.

Phalarope & Teal

A beautiful day and lots of people out enjoying it at Reifel this afternoon. There was some activity in the outer ponds with Dunlin, Western Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitcher present.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

The highlight though was this lone Wilson’s Phalarope.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

Even better was that it was coming in close to the dyke trail.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

It was getting everyone’s attention,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

… which is not so hard being quite pretty and standing out from the crowd.

At the end of the day on my way out I stopped by the inner pond to check for the Cinnamon Teal which was seen again earlier in the day.

Cinnamon Teal
Cinnamon Teal

It was initially foraging back in the reeds,

Cinnamon Teal
Cinnamon Teal

… but with a little patience it did make its way somewhat closer. The fact nobody else was around probably helped as they are usually quite shy and leery of people. A nice end to a fun afternoon.

Sora

After not being able to do it last weekend, I made my way out to volunteer on the trails at Reifel this afternoon. There were a few more people than in recent weeks and some interesting birds to boot. Just inside the entrance a Sora had been showing well around the warming hut area. As luck would have it, it was not present when I went to check.

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

The Barn Swallow nest on the side of the warming hut was entertaining several folks.

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

These chicks will not be in the nest much longer. From here I carried on to the outer ponds. Some of the usual shore birds present were Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, Western Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper. Highlights were,

Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope

… a couple of Red-necked Phalarope,

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

… around fifteen Stilt Sandpipers,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

… and about a half dozen Wilson’s Phalarope. An honourable mention goes to the Virginia Rail that made a quick flight from one patch of bullrush to another between the shore birds. Not wanting to give up on the Sora, I made my way back to the warming hut area. Some birds splashing away taking a bath caught my attention and on closer examination the Sora was one of them.

Sora
Sora

It then made its way back and forth along the waters edge.

Sora
Sora

Or should I say muddy edge. Not the best back drop for photos, but fun to see and spend some time with this infrequent visitor to the sanctuary.